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Inventive sandal, water temperature indicator win awards for SFSU students



Matt Itelson
SFSU Office of Public Affairs
(415) 338-1743
(415) 338-1665


Press Release published by the Office of Public Affairs


Design and industry majors honored in national Industrial Design Excellence Awards

SAN FRANCISCO, July 21, 2003 — Inventive designs for a new type of sandal and water temperature indicator recently won national Industrial Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) for two students in the Design and Industry Department at San Francisco State University.

Graduate student Arvind Gupta received the gold medal in the student designs category for his Modular Hinge Sandal. With the innovative sandal, users purchase one shoe frame and choose various styles of outer sleeves, changing the look of the footwear without buying new shoes.

"This design redefines the sandal," said Craig Vogel, IDEA jury member and associate dean of the College of Fine Arts at Carnegie Mellon University. "The designer has created a sandal that fits into the vocabulary that has emerged for athletic footwear."

The sandal is like nothing available on the market and has a patent pending, Gupta said. He spent six months working on his design after he noticed a limited selection of sandals on the market, as well as high manufacturing costs and consumer prices.

Since winning the award, Gupta has received e-mails from product designers around the world and gotten in touch with fellow Indian designers. However, the 29-year-old Hayes Valley resident and Van Nuys native finds personal satisfaction he gets with his designs to be more important than the recognition.

Gupta, who also has a patent pending on an insulated food container he designed, believes his product is marketable and will consider licensing it to a shoe company.

Senior Charles L. Floyd received the bronze medal in the IDEA student designs category for his Faucet Friend Water Temperature Indicator. The product, an inexpensive piece that attaches to a water faucet, changes colors as temperatures rise or fall to help avoid scalding.

"This award validates that I should continue to pursue the field of product design," said Floyd, 39, a Potrero Hill resident. "It gives me encouragement more than anything else."

There is no similar product on the market, he says, adding that it has a patent pending.

The IDEAs, sponsored by BusinessWeek and juried by the Industrial Designers Society of America, are an annual contest in which product designers are honored in 12 categories. This year's 122 winners included designs by companies such as Apple, Motorola and Logitech as well as the nation's top design firms, including IDEO and ZIBA. A total of 1,279 entries from 15 countries were received for this year's contest.

Over the years SFSU design and industry students have created countless innovations, most notably Charles Hall, who in 1969 experimented with starch- and gelatin-filled prototypes that would later become the world's first waterbed. Other student inventions include: the Unball, a cross between a softball and bean bag that was popular in the 1980s; the Hooper, a plastic harness used to carry two-liter soda bottles; and a glove that helps bowlers refine their skills.


NOTE: For photos of Gupta and Floyd or to schedule interviews with them, contact Matt Itelson of the SFSU Office of Public Affairs at (415) 338-1743 or

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